Karen's home and the way they graciously receive us when we visit!
Crabs, prawns, chicken pastel, shrimp tempura fresh from the wok, cream puffs, cinnamon rolls, papaya chutney...all laid our for lunch.
Right after, she gave us little red things...Miracle Fruit, she said...bite the flesh, taste the sweetness, spit out the seed, and then, take something sour...lemon, vinegar...anything...and everything tastes sweet...
Must try it next time with chili...
Karen's my most favorite person in Bataan! She's the only one I know who's from there. LOL...and her lovely family, of course.
Fondest memory: Going up to Mt. Samat, watching Dante lug 3 cameras and a tripod looking like he's a Japanese tourist :-), and Tita Linda's chicken pastel and chicken sandwich spread! What I missed but most definitely will go back for? Joy's cinnamon rolls that are rumored to taste better than Cinnabon's.
OK, this was a new expressway that was just recently opened. We were able to pass thru this going back to Manila from Bataan. We entered the expressway from Mabalacat, Pampanga and we just kinda skipped Angeles Pampanga! We arrived at Dau (NLEX) after around 40 minutes! What a breeze! :-) It took us around 4 hours of travel from Manila to Bataan and our trip back just took us around less than 3 hours. I forgot how much we paid for this, I think 180 pesos.
The new expressway I think passed through a lot of hills. Well, the government spent Php27 Billion to build this thing, how and what they did with the hills (maybe to avoid landslides) is up to your imagination. :-)
Brings to mind the phrase "Let's Volt In!" and "Laser Sword!!!"
I can almost hear the Voltes V theme song. (and that is Voltes Five not Voltes 'vee' for those who are not familiar with the greatest cartoon robot of all time.) (which probably gives away my age) hehehe
Amazing, is it not, that there are already two giant landmarks in Bataan. One is the Cross that is part of the Shrine of Valor, and the other is this one. I haven't yet explored this province throughly so maybe they still have some more giant surprises in store.
I was told by a local once that beneath Mt. Samat is hidden the rest of the giant rosary beads that complete the cross.
Meanwhile, according to the guidebook:
"The Famous Flaming Sword is a symbol of the Filipino courage and gallantry in the face of adversary and external threats to the nation's democracy and peace."
In the town of Pilar, up on Mt.Samat, is the Shrine of Valor or Dambana ng Kagitingan. A great place to visit if you want to learn more about Bataan's role in the defense of the Philippines during WWII.
Shown in this picture is a portion of the Cross Monument Base. Relief sculptures surround the base of the cross depicting various events/figures in Philippine history. We had no guide when we went up but being a Filipino, it was easy recognizing the scenes and personages from school history lessons. Foreigners could probably ask for a guide from the main office. When we went up, there were several Korean tourists in the area and I heard a local guide explaining to them the significance of the sculptures.
For more pictures and info check out my "Pilar, Province of Bataan" page.
Road conditions in Bataan are very good in the most part of the province and improving at a rapid rate, due to a concerted effort by the provincial government. The turnoff to Bataan from the Olongapo- Gapan Road at Dinalupihan is clearly marked. The road forks three km. Further on; the left turn being the coastal road, passing through major towns. This road is no longer continuous and cut near Orion and Limay.
By veering right at the junction, you cab travel on the Roman Superhighway, which saves considerable travel time. The capital Balanga can be reached in about 25 minutes from Dinalupihan turnoff, while it is a further 45 minutes drive to Mariveles and the Bataan Special Economic Zone.